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Kegboy
12-05-2006, 10:57 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/sports/basketball/06ball.html?_r=3&ref=sports&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

N.B.A. to Take Up Complaints With Ball Manufacturer

<NYT_BYLINE version="1.0" type=" ">By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/michael_s_schmidt/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
</NYT_BYLINE>Published: December 5, 2006

<NYT_TEXT>Four days after the National Basketball Players Association filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_labor_relations_board/index.html?inline=nyt-org) partly over the N.B.A.’s use of a new synthetic basketball, Commissioner David Stern (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_stern/index.html?inline=nyt-per) said that the league made a mistake by not closely consulting with the players and that the league would address complaints about the ball with its manufacturer.

On Friday, the player’s association filed grievances with the N.L.R.B. and asked the organization to investigate what it said were the N.B.A.’s unilateral actions. The new synthetic ball and new rules cracking down on in-game conduct have prompted complaints from players since the season began. The players association was upset that its membership was not informed of the changes beforehand.

“I won’t make a spirited defense with respect to the ball,” Stern said today. “In hindsight, we could have done a better job.

“With respect to the ball, I take responsibility for that.”

Players say the new ball, manufactured by Spalding with a synthetic plastic instead of leather, absorbs sweat and sticks to their hands, causing it to not roll off their fingers in a consistent fashion. Some players have also complained that the ball does not bounce off the floor and the rim like the old ball.

“On every test, historically that has been done, this ball tests out much more consistent,” Stern said. “But if our players are unhappy, then we’re unhappy. We get every ball from every team. We go back. We have it taken apart. We do all kinds of tests. And that’s a continuing process.”
Stern added that the league should have listened to the players sooner and would be investigating each player’s complaint.

“Whether or not we did enough prior to it, we’re actually, well, we think this ball has many of the attributes that Spalding says it has,” he said. “It’s an improvement in many ways. But if our players are unhappy with it, we have to analyze to the nth degree the cause of their unhappiness. Everything is on the table. I’m not pleased, but I’m realistic. We’ve got to do the right thing here. And, of course, the right thing is to listen to our players. Whether it’s a day late or not, we’re dealing with this.”
The N.B.A. said it changed the ball to meet the standard of the rest of the world’s basketball leagues.

The players association has been especially upset that ball was introduced without consultation with the union or any active players. Three retired players-turned-broadcast-analysts — Mark Jackson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/mark_jackson/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Reggie Miller (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/reggie_miller/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Steve Kerr — were the primary testers. The only N.B.A. players who tested the ball in competition were the members of the 2006 All-Star teams, who used one during last season’s game in Houston.

“We’re talking to every player,” Stern said. “We’re continuing to evaluate it. Every time someone says something about the ball, we get the ball and we send it back to Spalding.”

Roaming Gnome
12-05-2006, 11:02 PM
Wow, talk about a turn around in attitude.... It was non-sense that they would introduce a ball without the endorsement of the players.

I'm just curious what changed Stern's mind because he seemed pretty adament in the past about not taking the player into account when making a decision on the ball.

AesopRockOn
12-05-2006, 11:08 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/05/sports/basketball/06ball.html?_r=3&ref=sports&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

N.B.A. to Take Up Complaints With Ball Manufacturer

<NYT_BYLINE type=" " version="1.0">By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/michael_s_schmidt/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
</NYT_BYLINE>Published: December 5, 2006

<NYT_TEXT>Four days after the National Basketball Players Association filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_labor_relations_board/index.html?inline=nyt-org) partly over the N.B.A.’s use of a new synthetic basketball, Commissioner David Stern (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_stern/index.html?inline=nyt-per) said that the league made a mistake by not closely consulting with the players and that the league would address complaints about the ball with its manufacturer.

On Friday, the player’s association filed grievances with the N.L.R.B. and asked the organization to investigate what it said were the N.B.A.’s unilateral actions. The new synthetic ball and new rules cracking down on in-game conduct have prompted complaints from players since the season began. The players association was upset that its membership was not informed of the changes beforehand.

“I won’t make a spirited defense with respect to the ball,” Stern said today. “In hindsight, we could have done a better job.

“With respect to the ball, I take responsibility for that.”

Players say the new ball, manufactured by Spalding with a synthetic plastic instead of leather, absorbs sweat and sticks to their hands, causing it to not roll off their fingers in a consistent fashion. Some players have also complained that the ball does not bounce off the floor and the rim like the old ball.

“On every test, historically that has been done, this ball tests out much more consistent,” Stern said. “But if our players are unhappy, then we’re unhappy. We get every ball from every team. We go back. We have it taken apart. We do all kinds of tests. And that’s a continuing process.”
Stern added that the league should have listened to the players sooner and would be investigating each player’s complaint.

“Whether or not we did enough prior to it, we’re actually, well, we think this ball has many of the attributes that Spalding says it has,” he said. “It’s an improvement in many ways. But if our players are unhappy with it, we have to analyze to the nth degree the cause of their unhappiness. Everything is on the table. I’m not pleased, but I’m realistic. We’ve got to do the right thing here. And, of course, the right thing is to listen to our players. Whether it’s a day late or not, we’re dealing with this.”
The N.B.A. said it changed the ball to meet the standard of the rest of the world’s basketball leagues.

The players association has been especially upset that ball was introduced without consultation with the union or any active players. Three retired players-turned-broadcast-analysts — Mark Jackson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/mark_jackson/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Reggie Miller (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/reggie_miller/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Steve Kerr — were the primary testers. The only N.B.A. players who tested the ball in competition were the members of the 2006 All-Star teams, who used one during last season’s game in Houston.

“We’re talking to every player,” Stern said. “We’re continuing to evaluate it. Every time someone says something about the ball, we get the ball and we send it back to Spalding.”

WMD's?

Kegboy
12-05-2006, 11:09 PM
Wow, talk about a turn around in attitude.... It was non-sense that they would introduce a ball without the endorsement of the players.

I'm just curious what changed Stern's mind because he seemed pretty adament in the past about not taking the player into account when making a decision on the ball.

First and foremost, Stern's a lawyer. If you want to get a lawyer's attention, sue him.

Shade
12-05-2006, 11:17 PM
Looks like the union spooked Stern.

Btw, does this mean that those who spent $100 on the new ball may be entitled to a refund?

Kegboy
12-05-2006, 11:21 PM
My problem with the ball is it even sounds dead. I was shocked the first game I watched with good sound, the ball hit the rim and not only did it act like it was flat, it sounded like it too.

skyfire
12-05-2006, 11:43 PM
My problem with the ball is it even sounds dead. I was shocked the first game I watched with good sound, the ball hit the rim and not only did it act like it was flat, it sounded like it too.

Yea, i've noticed that too. Listening to the radio, the ball gives a very clunky sound when it hits the rim.

I wonder what Reggie thought of the new ball...

Los Angeles
12-06-2006, 02:04 AM
Looks like the union spooked Stern.

Btw, does this mean that those who spent $100 on the new ball may be entitled to a refund?

Two words: collector's item.

Gyron
12-06-2006, 09:28 AM
I heard on Bob and Tom this morning that the "rumor" is that the sole reason Stern initiated the development of the new ball was because of prompting from the Wife of the Houston Rockets Owner pushing him for a "animal friendly" ball.

beast23
12-06-2006, 10:07 AM
Whichever ball they choose to use, I suppose it will end up being okay with me.

However, if they reverse the new rules cracking down on in-game conduct, I will be extremely disappointed. I've found it very refreshing to watch nearly 48 minutes of basketball each game, as opposed to 40 minutes of basketball and the other 8 disrupted by some player running his mouth.

The players needed to learn that there is a huge difference between respectfully asking for an explanation and ******ing about a call. It's too bad that it took a rule change to do it and that they were not mature enough to do it on their own.

Nevertheless, a lot of the disruption has now been removed from the game. Heck, on televised games, league officials are probably finding that they could probably have an extra TV timeout each have and sell more advertising due to the time saved.

owl
12-06-2006, 11:47 AM
I am glad they are cracking down on all the complaining. If I wanted to
watch that I would go the "Y". Five minutes of play and five minutes of complaining. Nauseating to say the least.

Bring back the old ball.

RWB
12-06-2006, 02:45 PM
My problem with the ball is it even sounds dead. I was shocked the first game I watched with good sound, the ball hit the rim and not only did it act like it was flat, it sounded like it too.

Also a dead ball helps non shooters (as Keg points out the ball dies on the rim now) and it has a better chance of falling in rather than a hard bounce. Once again was this another attempt in getting the scoring up?

Since86
12-06-2006, 03:37 PM
Also a dead ball helps non shooters (as Keg points out the ball dies on the rim now) and it has a better chance of falling in rather than a hard bounce. Once again was this another attempt in getting the scoring up?

But shooters are saying it's hard to grip when it gets wet.

And Reggie was quoted as saying he liked the new ball BTW. But I wonder if he used it enough to work up a sweat and see how it performed with it a little moisture (that doesn't look right) on it.

Bball
12-06-2006, 03:46 PM
But shooters are saying it's hard to grip when it gets wet.

And Reggie was quoted as saying he liked the new ball BTW. But I wonder if he used it enough to work up a sweat and see how it performed with it a little moisture (that doesn't look right) on it.


Are you saying the testers didn't have sweaty balls?

:zip:
-Bball

Since86
12-06-2006, 03:53 PM
Precisely. They are no Alec Baldwin.

BillS
12-06-2006, 04:23 PM
Wow, talk about a turn around in attitude.... It was non-sense that they would introduce a ball without the endorsement of the players.

I'm just curious what changed Stern's mind because he seemed pretty adament in the past about not taking the player into account when making a decision on the ball.

By looking like he's giving in on the ball issue he's deflecting talk about the referee issue. Notice there's no article about his response to that part of the NLRB complaint.

Betcha he agrees to give in about the ball if the players' union shuts up about the refs.

Kegboy
12-06-2006, 05:38 PM
Here's a good commentary.

http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/9854616/2

Switch back before more of the season goes slip sliding away
Dec. 6, 2006
By Tony Mejia
CBS SportsLine.com Staff Writer


It took only a couple of months of griping, weird bounces and, most recently, a round of hand lacerations for NBA commissioner David Stern to second-guess his league's decision to switch to a new ball without properly consulting players.

"I won't make a spirited defense with respect to the ball," Stern said in an interview with the New York Times. "In hindsight, we could have done a better job. I take responsibility for that."

Assuming culpability is a start. As for the latest round of tests the league is asking Spalding to administer, that's a stall tactic. The sporting goods company was a major part of the problem in the first place, promising a better ball that hasn't delivered in any way, shape or form.

If things went down the way Stern says they did, then he has been deceived. You'll have better luck finding fans of country music among the NBA's coaches and players than you would getting someone to tell you they prefer the new microfiber ball over the old leather one. But a better ball is precisely what Spalding promised.

The company branded its creation "the next generation" of basketballs. Blessed with this new "Cross Traxxion technology," the ball would have less channel area, leading to an enhanced grip (having felt it, it does feel sticky) and a more consistent bounce.

Haven't seen it.

A Hydrophilic Moisture Management System was developed to spread moisture evenly across the surface of the ball, resulting in faster evaporation.

In direct contrast, players feel the ball is slicker when wet than the leather ball.

Fortunately, we haven't seen a drastic drop in scoring or entertainment value, but teams are generally shooting for a lower percentage from 3-point range and the amount of turnovers are up. There is no shortage of unpredictable bounces, whether on a dribble or off the rim or backboard, adding an element to the game that wasn't there before.

The latest development has been the arrival of injuries resembling paper cuts showing up on the hands of a number of key players. Dirk Nowtizki and Steve Nash, among others, have had to wear bandages to prevent the cuts from reopening in games.

At the beginning of the season, it was amusing to see Stern sit back and smirk when asked about the new ball, assuring everyone his players would get used to it. They have, too, when their hands aren't bleeding like they're experiencing some kind of stigmata.

Anyway you slice it -- pardon the pun -- the ball is a menace. It has to go.

"If our players are unhappy with it, we have to analyze to the nth degree the cause of their unhappiness. Everything is on the table," Stern told the Times. "I'm not pleased, but I'm realistic. We've got to do the right thing here. And of course, the right thing is to listen to our players. Whether it's a day late or not, we're dealing with this."

San Antonio's Robert Horry, who was quoted by the San Antonio Express-News as saying that no one in the league "dislikes the new ball as much as me," was adamant in his belief that nothing is going to be done about it. For that to happen, he said, the league would have to admit it made a mistake.

Surprisingly, that's out of the way now. The mea culpa has been issued. The next step is to act.

Poll the teams. Listen to the people who have to go out there and work with the ball every day. It's what should've been done to begin with. If the majority chooses the old ball -- and they will -- grant their wish and make the move effective Jan. 1.

That way, every team would've had to play with the new balls for the same two months, and although there will be a slight disparity in games played for a few squads, it would be pretty difficult to say anyone was put at a competitive disadvantage.

There's no doubt there would be concerns over switching balls in midseason and having to adjust on the fly, but that's a better alternative than what's going on today. At least the old ball won't carve up your hands. Players were expected to adjust on the fly to having a brand new ball thrust into their worlds, and could just as easily do the same when making the transition back to the rock that's never been an issue.

A better basketball is a better basketball, right? Isn't that what the thought process was when making the initial switch? Well, we all know there's a better ball out there.

It just happens to be the leather version Spalding has been supplying the NBA since 1983. More than 25,000 regular season games had been played with that ball. The greatest players of the past 20 years, from Michael Jordan to Dwyane Wade, have won championships with that ball. There was nothing wrong with it.

Spalding hung the NBA out to dry. In an attempt to put what they felt was a technologically advanced basketball out there, they've proven to be a distraction. No one should ever be talking about the quality of the basketball in a professional league. In good faith, they should recognize their part in this debacle and re-stock the league with old reliable.

Whether Stern's policies regarding player behavior cross a line is up for debate. Ultimately, I believe they will be good for the game, so I support most of them. But this whole ball mess -- from how it was imposed to how players' complaints were largely ignored -- is at odds with the improvement of the NBA product. That's something that can't be defended.

It's been wrong. Now, Stern has said as much. Time to do something about it.

Hicks
12-06-2006, 05:53 PM
It's making players' hands bleed? Get rid of it.

Bball
12-06-2006, 06:23 PM
Ever since this new ball was announced I kept thinking back to:
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

I've yet to hear what supposedly was to be gained by this switch to a 'new' ball.

On the topic at hand, it was my thought this got Stern's attention because it was the prong of the complaint that had some traction. By addressing it so fully he can try and not allow it to pull the other prong (player complaints on court and technicals) to get much traction thru any sort of a halo effect.

-Bball

ajbry
12-06-2006, 06:33 PM
It's making players' hands bleed? Get rid of it.

Definitely agree with you there, that's just insane. I didn't know it was actually hurting the players.

dlewyus
12-06-2006, 06:55 PM
Bring back the old ball.
Keep T-ing the biichers.

PacerMan
12-06-2006, 11:10 PM
Anybody that plays a lot of hoops gets splits on their fingers from catching passes. Nothing new there folks. MAYBE it's worse with this ball or maybe it's just a bunch of complainers doing what they do.
Change the ball back to placate the little whiners and keep doing EVERYTHING else the same.
ESPECIALLY telling the loudmouths to shut the hell up or T them up.

pizza guy
12-07-2006, 01:56 AM
Bring back the old ball.
Keep T-ing the biichers.

Short, sweet, and to the point. I agree.

Since86
12-07-2006, 12:49 PM
I've never gotten cuts from catching a basketball. The only time I've ever gotten cut in games on the hands is if I hit someone in the mouth, from other people's fingernail, or getting them caught in the net/rim/spring box.

I've slowed down playing since HS, and I still play atleast 3times a week, multiple games a day.

Moses
12-07-2006, 01:10 PM
This annoys me because all these players have adapted to the new ball because they thought it was staying.

It is just stupid to implement this new ball so suddenly. They should have made the d-league or another league use it and tested it before just throwing it right at the NBA. Players are going to have to re-adapt to the old ball now after they've been practicing for the past 4-5 months with the newer ball. I guess it's just stupid that this entire ordeal came up..I don't even know why a new ball was necessary in the first place.

JayRedd
12-07-2006, 03:38 PM
I've never gotten cuts from catching a basketball. The only time I've ever gotten cut in games on the hands is if I hit someone in the mouth, from other people's fingernail, or getting them caught in the net/rim/spring box.

I've slowed down playing since HS, and I still play atleast 3times a week, multiple games a day.

Neither have I

PacerMan
12-07-2006, 05:03 PM
I've never gotten cuts from catching a basketball. The only time I've ever gotten cut in games on the hands is if I hit someone in the mouth, from other people's fingernail, or getting them caught in the net/rim/spring box.

I've slowed down playing since HS, and I still play atleast 3times a week, multiple games a day.

3 times a week isn't a lot. Every day is a lot.
Used to have 1 or 2 fingers taped all the time when I played every night (3 or 4 hours). Catch enough spinning balls or jam jobs on the finger and they WILL split.
New Skin was a marvel. :)

Since86
12-07-2006, 05:08 PM
I guess you missed the "I slowed down since HS" part.

I played every day in HS, considering we had practice Mon-Thurs with games on Friday and Sat. night. That's not even counting walk-throughs in the morning before Sat. games, shooting around during lunch, and two practices a day when I was a freshman. That was the winter schedule for me for 6 years of my life. Again, I have never had a cut from a ball.

Maybe you only play ball outside, with the rubber ones that have rocks stuck to them.

I've never even heard of someone saying they got cut by the ball, let alone seeing it often enough to say "It's nothing new."